The face of marketing has changed dramatically in the 10 years we’ve been in business. Marketing and technology have become an integral and prominent part of any successful marketing strategy.
The digital revolution has changed marketing in more ways than one and in this blog, we wanted to highlight 10 changes in marketing over the last 10 years (in no particular order).
1. The Rise In Digital Marketing
The emphasis on traditional marketing methods such as radio, TV and newspaper has decreased rapidly due to the rise in digital marketing and shifting consumer behaviour. Traditionally, businesses would advertise on offline mediums such as newspapers, magazines, and directories such as The Yellow Pages because that was where their audience was. While consuming this media, customers would come across your ad or marketing message depending on your chosen method.
However, as attention shifted from offline media to online, marketing has followed! An increasing number of people are going online to read their magazine subscriptions, catch up with newsletters and get information that would traditionally be found in The Yellow Pages.
Like it or not, digital marketing is here to stay. Consumers are looking online to solve their problems, find products and services and get information for various things. This is exactly why your business or company should have an online presence and a separate budget for digital marketing.
2. Increase In Video Marketing
Video is the future of content marketing, that’s a fact and there is no stopping it! In fact, according to a Cisco report, 80% of all internet traffic will be streaming video content by 2019. You may think that video is limited to viral video content, video ads, and homepage brand story videos (although that’s a good start), but more and more brands are actually utilising video content to appeal to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Brands are creating video content such as product demonstrations, customer reviews, animation and tutorial videos, live videos and on-demand live casts – all to increase engagement and conversions for their products/ services.
Traditionally, video was restricted to major brands and companies that had the buying power (and behemoth budgets) to reach audiences through TV, cinema and other traditional visual media. However today, video marketing has become increasingly accessible for the small business, or even an individual, to create compelling content that resonates with their target audience.
This increase in accessibility means that almost anyone can create video content to engage, build trust, educate and attract his or her ideal customer with the smallest of budgets.
3. Greater Emphasis On Social Marketing
Do you have a Facebook account? Maybe even a Twitter account? Let’s add a Youtube account to that too? Instagram? Pinterest?
This question might sound odd to you but the truth is that research done by the Global Web Index shows that the average user indeed has 5+ social media accounts (including the one’s mentioned above) and spends almost 2 hours a day browsing social media.
This is a huge opportunity for businesses, as it’s where most of your audiences attention lies. Social Media has grown over the last few years from a gimmick for college kids to actual practical business uses. More brands and businesses are creating relationships, distributing content and converting leads into customers with the use of social media.
The old marketing adage “People buy from companies they know, like and trust” can now be implemented into social media with exponential results.
Businesses can now accelerate the process by regularly and consistently putting out content and interacting with their potential customers to allow them to know, like and eventually trust them enough to open their wallets. Previously this sort of exposure cost time, and hefty budgets and was not something readily accessible to small businesses.
4. Rise In Content Marketing
You’ve probably heard the saying “Content is king”, and thought ‘I can’t do this because I’m not a good writer!’.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Content in today’s marketing landscape is not limited to written content, it can be a number of things including (but not limited to) video, infographics, social media posts, images, blogs, e-books, scripts, white papers, seminars, speaking engagements etc.
The key changes here are that a few years ago, content was also readily available but it was primarily in the form of outbound content, or ‘push marketing’. What this means is that content was distributed to sell or ‘push’ your product or service towards your customer, and whoever could shout the loudest (i.e. throw the most money into marketing and rise above the noise) would generally win the customer.
However, these days, with customers becoming savvier and more averse to blatant sales pitches, content has also taken a new form.
Today most content is used to ‘pull’ and attract customers into a funnel so they can be nurtured over time to warm to your product or service. This essentially is the basis behind the whole inbound marketing methodology, which aims to attract your ideal customer to your product through a series of content assets that moves them through the buyer’s journey.
5. Marketing Integrated Throughout The Company
Traditionally, the marketing department would be a separate entity that would come up with all the creative marketing ideas for a business. These individuals would be involved in marketing without much involvement from any other department.
However, in today’s fast-paced business environment, a single department is just not enough. Rather than a single department, marketing is now integrated; every employee is a marketer for the company, not just the marketing department!
Increasingly you can see more brands adopting the concept that every one of their employees is a brand ambassador for the company. You can see employees creating content and distributing it on their personal social profiles. Also, more and more employees are taking on intrapreneur roles within companies. What this means is that more employees are heading departments that traditionally wouldn’t be part of the marketing mix, to get more exposure for the company. They are leading with their particular expertise as if it was their own business and department and taking on roles such as content creation, research, speaking engagements and other responsibilities to market the business.
This shift from a single department to multiple touch points and ambassadors creates a fully functioning marketing machine, which is getting businesses increased exposure, increased growth, and increased revenues.
6. Distributed Teams & Collaboration
The bestselling book REMOTE, states:
“The most talented people in the world don’t all live in one place”
If you haven’t noticed already, there is a huge shift in the way people are working. Although mostly popularised by startups, traditional businesses are warming to the possibility of saving costs and tapping into the skilled and talented workforce around the globe.
So what has distributed teams and collaboration got to do with marketing? A lot actually. You see, with global talent comes global perspectives, which means a global view on marketing and how a business can utilize these local perspectives to improve their marketing.
Traditionally if a business wanted to reach global markets they needed huge budgets to gain information and research about local trends, cultural differences, and appetites. Now all they have to do is hire or take on talent from that area or expertise and gain a significant advantage.
This shift has been accelerated with the introduction of various tools and technology specifically catered for remote workers and collaborative teams that make’s this an easy process, one that would not have been possible even a few years ago.
7. Marketing Departments Are Changing
As mentioned before, traditional marketing departments did just one thing – marketing. However today, marketing departments are so much more than that. They have morphed into each and every department within a company and have evolved into research, media, content and education departments.
The reason for this shift is that marketing today, including digital marketing, isn’t just about the four P’s or other traditional marketing theory. It is more about analysing your customer data, keeping tabs on latest trends in the ever-changing technological market, constant evaluation and re-evaluation of KPI’s and objectives, creating content for the relevant market segments (visual or written), constant education of prospective clients and their issues in addition to the usual marketing tasks.
In essence, marketing departments have evolved to take on roles beyond just the marketing of a company. They are huge powerhouses in themselves, churning out useful information, content, research, and other assets as well as systems (such as marketing funnels, strategies, and user flows) that all work to bring in customers for the business.
8. Marketing Budgets And Their Destination
Traditionally marketing departments directed their budget toward mediums such as TV, radio, newspaper etc, these were classed as the more effective methods of marketing and so most businesses preferred them.
However today, there are numerous marketing avenues available. With so much choice, businesses are opening their wallets to reach their ideal buyers in new settings.
Businesses are becoming aware of the digital shift and diversifying budgets towards modern marketing avenues such as social media advertising, responsive websites, video and email marketing and various other services that an online marketing agency can provide. Terms such as ‘influencer marketing’, ‘social media influencer’ and ‘personal branding’ are becoming the norm, what’s more, even more businesses are actually embracing these to build their brand awareness and reach previously untapped markets.
9. People Have Changed!
No longer is it acceptable to offer mediocre service and uncreative marketing messages. Customers are savvy to sales messages nowadays, they expect instant gratification; excellent customer service and marketing that stands out from the noise to get their attention.
No longer is it a marketer’s world. With the rise in social media and other avenues, the ball is well and truly in the buyer’s court! Marketers need to make sure they are constantly putting their customers at the forefront of any marketing message.
The term “the customer is always right” couldn’t be truer, especially in today’s changing landscape. With the prospect of your mistakes becoming viral it’s important to treat your new and current customers the way they want to be treated. Consumers are choosier, have an abundance of choices, have answers at their fingertips (in the form of the internet), what’s more, they are fully aware of their rights and are more than happy to use them if required.
As a result, you must look at creative ways to show your product or service to your target audience for them to even take the slightest bit of notice. You must make sure that any marketing you do resonates with your target market and shows them how your product/ service can help THEM.
10. Accessible Advertising
Until a couple of years ago, only big brands and companies could afford to advertise on a large scale (and get any positive ROI from it). However, with the introduction of social media advertising, search engine advertising and a variety of other advertising avenues the playing field has been leveled to allow businesses with smaller budgets to achieve similar successes as the big brands.
This means anyone who has a vision and some money to back that vision, whether that’s a small business or an individual, can now use these methods no matter how small their budget.
At Xpand, we’ve seen these changes as we have grown over the past 10 years and have constantly evolved and adapted to make sure we are at the forefront of any marketing trends. Our core value, however, has remained the same- To Get You Results!
We feel that largely, the changes have been positive and have really opened up the choices that businesses have to market their products or services to a variety of customers.
This post is part of our ‘10 years in business’ series; stay tuned for more valuable content in the lead up to our 10th anniversary.